Hungarian motorists should only buy the minimum amount of gas necessary to complete their journeys as the unavoidable maintenance of the country’s largest refinery could lead to temporary shortages, an executive of Hungary’s largest oil and gas group, MOL, said in an interview.
“That’s why we ask everyone to fill up only as much as they really need, as this is the only way to ensure the right amount for everyone. Panic buying and unnecessary stocking would only make the situation worse,” MOL’s director for production, Péter Ratatics, told the Index news portal.
“To ensure safe operation, the shutdown and maintenance of the Danube Refinery cannot be postponed, which was originally planned for spring but had to be postponed due to the increased demand caused by the fuel price freeze introduced at the time,” Ratatics said.
“The situation is made particularly difficult by the fact that the two largest refineries in the region, the one in Schwechat and the Czech one, are currently closed due to maintenance or accidents. However, MOL’s Bratislava refinery successfully restarted after the planned maintenance work was completed,” he added.
Ratatics also said that while MOL understands the government’s political intentions for introducing the fuel price cap (which was announced last November), it makes purchases for the company quite difficult.
“The Hungarian market can function well if there are imports,” he explained. “Our pricing policy is not cost-based, but competition-based. MOL normally determines the fuel price in relation to the prices of neighboring countries, precisely so that no one ends up in a monopoly situation.”
“However, the determined HUF 480 (per liter) price is much less than the market price. Under these conditions, foreign suppliers will not be interested in serving the Hungarian market in the long term,” Ratatics concluded.